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University School



SYLLABUS 2019-2020

Ms. Gina Bailiff                                                                    Email:


Course Description:

This is a college-level course designed to develop the skills of reading, writing, speaking,    listening, and critical thinking.  Emphasis will be on the close reading and annotation of  challenging works of literature, primarily fiction and poetry, and an analysis and synthesis of these works through intensive writing and revision.  The study and application of literary terms as well as vocabulary development are integral elements of the course, as well as the application of critical strategies for reading.  The philosophy and content of the course follow College Board guidelines and recommendations.  Please see the College Board site for additional information regarding the course and the exam.  Practice materials and tips are available.


Primary Texts:

The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Michael Meyer

Literature and Composition, Jago, Shea, Scanlon, and Aufses

College Board released exams and review materials

Supplemental Texts:

AP Literature and Composition workbooks, Barron's

Mirrors and Windows:  Connecting with Literature:  British Tradition, EMC Publishing, and          supplementary material from the publisher

Models for Writers:  Short Essays for Composition, Alfred Rosa and Paul Eschholz

Poetry:  An Introduction, Michael Meyer

Ancillary Materials, The Center for Learning

The Riverside Reader, Joseph Trimmer


Possible Novels or Drama: 

Dante Alighieri's The Inferno

Rudolpho Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Albert Camus, The Stranger and other essays

Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist

  1. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

John Gardner's Grendel

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis

George Orwell's 1984

Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front

William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Hamlet, and/or Macbeth

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein

Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Karl Weber and Participant Media's Food Inc.:  A Participant Guide

Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest

Student-selected novels

Novels included in the free response section of the A.P. Literature released exams



Course Requirements:

Students will need a three-ring binder with college-ruled notebook as well as paper, pens, pencils, and highlighters.


Grading Policy:

Individual grades can be accessed through the program Parent Portal.  Grading will be done on a total point system; point values are based on the importance and complexity of each assignment.  For example, tests will be worth 100 points, and quizzes, projects, and other assignments may vary. Timed in-class essays will be graded using the AP grading scale.


If a student is absent or needs to check on assignments, it is his or her responsibility to make up missing work in accordance with the deadlines outlined in the syllabus.  If there are questions about an assignment or additional materials that the student needs, arrangements need to be made for a time to come after school.  Instructional time will not be used to do this.


Please see the student handbook for the University School policy regarding cheating and plagiarism.


Late work policy:  Please see the Policy for High School English Department which is posted on the web page. 


Electronic Devices: 

Electronic devices may occasionally be used for class assignments, projects, and activities.  These are allowed to be used in class only when the teacher has given permission to do so.  Students using an electronic device without permission are subject to the consequences outlined in the student handbook.


Classroom Expectations:

* This is a reading and writing intensive course that will require disciplined study habits and preparation.  It is essential that you keep up with your reading and homework in order to be successful in this course.  Engagement with the text through discussion and writing that often involves editing and peer review is expected, as well as an understanding and application of literary terminology and critical strategies for reading.

* Be fully present in class.  Listen actively and engage in the learning process.

* Respect the dignity and worth of every person in the classroom.  This includes your peers, your teacher, and the perspectives of those individuals studied in class.  Use “I” statements in class discussion.


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